Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who Are You?

On Monday, while waiting at the grocery cashier, a man came up behind me. I hesitate to use the word gentleman for what will be obvious reasons. First, he crowded up against me, pushing me forward, and then he commented in a raised voice that he'd like to put these things in the basket - the kind of voice that suggests you should have known better or at the very least have had eyes in the back of your head. I moved over and he threw a bag of potatoes into a basket on the floor and stepped back so I stepped back in front of my cart. This seemed to be the cue for him to then - even more loudly - point out that he wanted to put all his things in the basket. Yes... well...

As I was loading my items onto the counter, he commented that's a lot of milk and when that elicited no response on my part, he said it MUCH louder to which I - with hopes of stopping this chain of events - replied I have children. Nope. That didn't work. It prompted I have two girls and I don't need that much milk. Why do you need so much milk? How many kids do you have? Now, it could just be me but I didn't think it was any of his business and what I really wanted to do was ask who are you in that tone, you know the one. Instead, I turned, finished my transactions, and left without comment, tongue tightly clenched between teeth before I said something rude and regrettable.

Sometimes, I look in the mirror and wonder the same who are you but not in the who do you think you are kind of way but rather the you look familiar but some thing's not quite right way. It's not the ravages of time that have me concerned. My face and I have stared back at each other every day for a long time. We've grown up together and the increasing wrinkles and grey hair are familiar, even comforting. What causes me concern is attitude.

After our snoop shopping day, my friend and I were discussing our greatest take away. She is eager to learn all the techniques needed to sew the clothes she was inspired to sew. That wasn't my concern. While I certainly don't know everything, I know a lot of techniques, enough to start and carry on for a long time. My concern is actually sewing them and not just thinking about sewing them.

Over the past year... and granted it's been a rough one but... my productivity rate has been so low that I don't recognize myself anymore. Normal for me is being almost always engaged and working eagerly and steadily - like the energizer bunny I've been described as in the past - and that hasn't been happening for a while now. Partly it's life. Partly it's staying home. And partly it's the lack of push that comes from having someone to talk to and share with regularly. Thank God for the Internet.

It's so wonderful when you get the chance to work with other creatives, talk about what you're doing, and share ideas, techniques, and feedback. That's why I'm so thrilled to have met this new friend. She's not only creative and friendly and great to spend time with, she wants to meet weekly. YES YES! That one fact alone motivates me toward having some kind of show or tell each week because I believe it's important to be both inspired and inspiring in a give and take way.

The secret project is nearly finished. Today most likely. As I stitched yesterday I thought about meeting weekly, about not feeling like myself, about how I want to feel, about the things I'd like to create, and about how it's still so hard to articulate the direction I want to move in. I want to sew clothes not wall art. I want to sew every day clothes not fantasy ones. I want to sew unique garments with personal touches not latest trends. I want to use the full range of my skill set in creative wearable ways rather than textile art ones. I think that's the problem. I have plenty of textile art ideas and I want to shift them to wearable ones only I'm a person more comfortable in simple clothing. I don't want to wear wall art so there's a balance to be found between the details and the wearability.

Art Cloth and Finding Your Own Visual Language are both wonderful, both by Jane Dunnewold. They are about creating and using fabrics rich in surface design in your own individual way. Surface design intrigues me. It's play. The detail is from a piece in Gwen Hedley's book Drawn To Stitch. It uses couching and seed stitch, two of my favourites. I've been thinking about ways to transfer those and other techniques to clothes that I would actually wear. I have a feeling I'm over thinking it... and... LOL... that's not so unusual.

In my opinion, a goal should be an attainable stretch that challenges, nurtures, and motivates while growing you up a step further with learning and some manner of improvement except I'm old enough to know that some goals just aren't going to happen. Some goals aren't your goal - rather they're a lack of acceptance around who you really are and a wish to be something you're not. I'd prefer to pursue MY goal so I think I might stop thinking about it and instead of setting a goal to do X, Y, or Z, the best goal for me might simply be to do because we learn to do by doing and it's by spending those minutes and hours and days in the studio doing the work that I'll learn to do the work and if the work is sewing creative clothing, that's the work I'm going to do, grow up, evolve, grow into, and explore. Just do it seems to be the perfect mantra for 2013.

LOL - and to continue to shop wisely. I popped into Fabricland yesterday to pick up a finishing item for the secret project and learned they were just about to move a table of fabrics into the bargain center. I'd been watching this fabric and bought 2.3 meters, the rest of the bolt. The regular price would have been $57.50. The bargain center price was $11.50. It's cotton linen, one of my favourite fabric blends, perfect for surface design only it's such a favourite blend that it somehow became precious on its way home. We'll see. Some time in the stash closet usually de-precious-es things.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - fabric sales


  1. Myrna, I recently had a similar experience - interaction with someone who was lacking (in the extreme) the social abilities that we expect from others. It came as such a shock that I nearly flew into an unwise act but I swallowed and apologized to the (I think mentally ill person) for "the misunderstanding." Disengaging from the interaction is all you can do. Also thanks for the references to those books - they look lovely.

    1. You're welcome for the references. I'm quite happy to pass along the addiction.

      It's not that I'm never rude but I try hard to let it be rare. Several years ago I set a goal to learn to listen, to learn to agree to disagree, and to learn to say I'm sorry. That was good learning.

  2. I have just found your blog through Maria of 'How good is that?' blog fame. I absolutely love your musings regarding 'who you are' and life. I can relate to so much of what you are saying as I too am trying to figure out what is my style after some life changing decisions - retirement and moving to a new area. I hope I too will find a friend who shares my interest in sewing and who I can meet up with regularly. It is so stimulating to talk with like minded people. Thank god for the internet :-)

    1. Good luck with your search for a sewing friend. It is wonderful and in-between at least the internet connects us and allows discussions. I'm glad Maria linked you here. Welcome. Thanks for the compliment.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.